J&K parties look at joint plan to defend Article 35A

Article 35A empowers J&K legislature to define the state’s Permanent Residents.

Ahead of the BJP’s core group meeting on Jammu and Kashmir in the national capital, major parties in the state are planning to come together to chalk out a possible joint strategy to prevent any moves by the Centre to unilaterally tamper with Constitutional provisions defining the state’s relationship with the Union.

Former J&K Chief Minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said she has approached National Conference (NC) patron and former CM Farooq Abdullah to convene an all-party meet to discuss the panic among people, especially over apprehension that the Centre is working on abrogating Article 35A.

Article 35A empowers J&K legislature to define the state’s Permanent Residents.

Mufti on Monday tweeted, “In light of recent developments that have caused a sense of panic amongst people in J&K, I’ve requested Dr Farooq Abdullah sahab to convene an all party meeting. Need of the hour is to come together & forge a united response. We the people of Kashmir need to stand up as one.”

Without directly responding to Mufti’s call, NC vice-president Omar Abdullah drew attention to growing tensions in the Valley and stated on Twitter that before calling senior leaders from other parties in the state, it is “important to try to understand” from the Centre its intentions.

Lok sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah told The Indian Express, “We are working on it (all-party meet)…it will be soon.”

The move was first made by former Independent legislator and head of Awami Itehad Party Engineer Rashid after the Centre’s decision to fly in additional 10,000 paramilitary personnel and a number of leaked police and administration communiques led to apprehensions that the government was planning to unilaterally abrogate Article 35A.

Rashid said, “I had sent Omar-sahab a message this morning, asking him to take the lead on gaining consensus as the party with three MPs. And shortly after that, Mehbooba-ji tweeted her comments.”

People’s Conference general secretary Imran Ansari told The Indian Express, “If it is a matter of defending the special identity of Kashmir and safeguarding the interests of Kashmiris, Peoples Conference will do everything possible and stand up for the rights of Kashmiris. But it depends on if and when such a meeting is called.”

Meanwhile, NC MPs gave notice to raise the current situation in the Valley in Lok Sabha and sought time from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Source: The Indian Express

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